Book Review – Bookkeeping Basics For Freelance Writers – must have for any freelancer

Title: Bookkeeping Basics For Freelance Writers

Author: Brigitte Thompson

Publisher: Crystal Press

ISBN-13: 978-0-9632123-8-2

ISBN-10: 0-9632123-8-9

It is a truism that most writers would rather write than keep track of their finances. Writing is an art and finances are, well, a pain in the neck. Thompson recognizes this and has managed to gently and adroitly lead even the most reluctant writers through the financial steps they need to become financially responsible as a business.

This incredibly well written, clear, and compassionate book covers such topics as Getting Started, Recording Income, Business Expenses, Business Use of Your Home Automobile, Entertainment and Travel, Employee Versus Subcontractor, Business Management and Taxes and Audits. Thompson manages to provide all you need to know in order to keep good (and legal) financial records for your freelancing career.

Filled with step by step directions, plenty of examples and form templates for you to use, this book makes keeping track of finances, well still not fun, but certainly something that even the most disorganized and uninformed writer would be able to pull off.

To liven things up, among the directions and forms are Tips for Success like these from freelance writers:

“I’m able to stay organized because I set aside the first hour of every day to do administrative tasks for my business.” Amy Forstadt

“I use a spreadsheet to track all of my projects, invoices, and payments. I include all pertinent information such as contract numbers, ISBNs, due dates and so on so that everything is visible at a glance.” Glenda Samples

And because writers tend to think of questions whenever we are reading anything (it’s an occupational hazard) Thompson preemptively addresses this by including segments called Writer’s Block within each chapter where she answers questions like:

I’m a self-employed political writer and frequently interview political politicians over lunch and pay for the meal. Are the costs of these meals deductions for me?

The answer by the way is: If the interview is related to your writing and you keep a written record to document what was discussed and who was with you, then the answer is yes.

Bookkeeping Basics for Freelance Writers is a valuable guide filled with practical and useful information. Any freelancer would do well to have this one in their permanent library.

Brigitte A. Thompson is the founder and President of Datamaster Accounting Services, LLC in Vermont. She has been active in the field of accounting since 1986 and is a member of the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers, the Vermont Tax Practitioners Association, and the Women Business Owners Network.

She is the author of several recordkeeping books for business owners, contributing author to two business books, and a freelance writer whose articles have appeared nationally in print and online publications.


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